The recent blogpost Fostered – Out of the Frying Pan (link below) explored the foster care business and possible child abuse. I have since been told of a child who had been taken into ‘care’ in the adjacent island. Allegedly, the child’s foster carer had treated the child with severe brutality and the abuse was discovered as a result of visible bruising. The child, seemingly completed intimidated, was accustomed to seeking permission to do the simplest most basic things. Thankfully, it seems that things are now improving for this child. However this would suggest that the system does not have all the answers despite the fact that social workers are all-powerful.
The story surely demonstrates that foster parents should be very carefully vetted. Can we be sure that children are not being removed from a slightly undesirable situation only to be placed in a horrifically violent home life with a foster carer? Alone and frightened out of your wits with a complete stranger. Does it get any worse?
However, social care departments appear to be convinced of infallibility. Sadly, this is not open to scrutiny.
Today’s Courier carries an advertisement appealing for foster carers. Just how well vetted are these people? Mr Robertshaw believes that vast numbers of over-referrals emanating from the present reporting system are acceptable because he fears missing one serious case. But what if this case occurred within foster care? Does that concern him? Or is it a case of having followed orders he need not fear litigation? We all know that two particular children in care in the Isle of Man could not be protected in the past.
Conscientious foster carers are undoubtedly fairly rewarded for the work they do but if fostering is a source of income and fosterers cannot always be adequately vetted then this could well encourage abusers to choose this ‘vocation’.
Is ‘care’ safe?